To the editor:
Sen. Roberts knows how to put green lipstick on a porker. He claims that the 32nd Street route for the South Lawrence Trafficway could be constructed “without any danger to the environment” (Journal-World, May 27). He’s fully aware this is a pig in a poke. He’s been involved with highways long enough to understand 10 lanes of traffic, particularly convoys of trucks throughout the night, would permanently degrade this environment considerably beyond the wide strip actually buried under concrete.
Kansas Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller finally acknowledged the SLT would be four lanes designed to later become six lanes. The six lanes coming from Johnson County are nearly shovel-ready. The turnpike is already six lanes from Topeka to Lawrence. They would build another four lanes relocating 31st Street right beside the SLT. Standing on the boardwalk you are in the path of those future 10 lanes.
Regardless of how many millions are spent “mitigating” elsewhere, the heart of this place would be permanently damaged. Biodiversity would plummet. Roberts wants you to believe a couple more million spent erecting concrete “noise barriers” will protect the environment. Hogwash, or more precisely, greenwash. These expensive walls weren’t designed to protect wetlands. They add insult to the injury caused Native Americans who consider this place a sacred part of their history, a location intimately associated with their survival in the face of our government’s campaign of cultural extinction.
Inexcusably, the article didn’t once mention Native Americans, only “others who consider the existing wetlands to have environmental, cultural and historical significance.”